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How Much Does a House Survey Cost?

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Mike Ashton

21st Nov 2019 (Last updated on 8th Jan 2021) 9 minute read

In 2021, the UK average property survey costs are £380 to £800 depending on the type of survey, the value and size of the property and the location. This is just a guideline of house survey costs, your own situation and the surveyor you choose will also determine how much you pay for your property survey. 

Once your offer has been accepted, you should arrange your property survey. A house survey gives you the opportunity to back out of the sale without having to risk losing your deposit if the survey discovers expensive repairs or renegotiate your original offer to cover any repair costs.

Compare My Move have taken the average costs from a sample of 20 RICS Chartered Surveyors and Building Societies from across the UK to give you a clear guideline of all house survey costs in this useful guide. 

This article will cover the following:
  1. Example of Average UK House Survey Costs
  2. How Much Does a Mortgage Valuation Cost?
  3. How Much Does a Condition Report Cost?
  4. How Much Does a Homebuyers Survey Cost?
  5. How Much Does a Building Survey Cost?
  6. Are There Any Other Costs Involved?
  7. Is it Worth Getting a Survey on a Property?
  8. Comparing Different Property Surveys
  9. Why Do I Need a Property Survey?
  10. Save on your Surveying Costs

Example of Average UK House Survey Costs

We’ve created the below table to include the average cost for a mortgage valuation, condition report, homebuyer survey and a building survey for a wide range of property prices. The true costs may fluctuate depending on the size of property, location and your chosen surveyor. 

Property ValueMortgage Valuation CostCondition Report CostHomebuyer Survey CostBuilding Survey Cost
Up to £100,000£220£290£380£630
£100,001 to £200,000£280£290£420£700
£200,001 to £300,000£320£380£500£800
£300,001 to 400,000£370£400£570£900
£400,001 to £500,000£420£420£640£990
£500,001 to £600,000£490£470£740£1,120
£600,001 to £700,000£520£500£790£1,180
£700,001 to £800,000£570£520£860£1,270
£800,001 to £900,000£610£540£920£1,340
£900,001 to £1,000,000£640£560£980£1,390

Compare My Move took the average costs from a sample of 20 RICS Chartered Surveyors and Building Societies across the UK. Please note that the cost of your survey may vary depending on area or other factors.

How Much Does a Mortgage Valuation Cost?

A mortgage valuation can cost around £320 for the average property in the UK, though costs can be as low as £160 and as high as £600. The cost of the valuation is relative to your property value and the lender you choose to go with.

Mortgage valuation at a glance:

  • This is not a property survey.
  • It's used for mortgage lenders to confirm value of property.
  • It won't highlight any defects or damage. 

Some mortgage lenders will include a valuation for free whilst some start as cheap as £75. The prices in the table are just as average and you should find out what mortgage fees are required before you take out a mortgage. 

It should be noted that a valuation report or a mortgage valuation is not a property survey. The valuation won't look for hidden defects, a mortgage valuation will only confirm to your mortgage lender that the property is worth, in fact, the amount they are lending you. You'll also find out the amount of mortgage you can afford.

Find out more: what is a mortgage valuation?

How Much Does a Condition Report Cost?

A condition report survey for the average UK home can cost around £380. The cost of a RICS condition report is relative to your house price and size, so depending on your house price you could pay on average between £290 to £560 for the survey. 

Condition report at a glance:

  • Mainly for new build homes.
  • The most basic and least in-depth survey.
  • Ideal if you just want a straight-forward condition rating.

The condition report is the most basic RICS survey and is, therefore, the cheapest. This survey will grade the various elements of the property with a condition rating of either 1, 2 or 3, and will only state if the house needs any urgent repairs.

The condition report will highlight any urgent issues with the house, but won’t offer advice on the value of the property. This survey is mainly suited for new build homes that are in good condition, as the survey isn’t very in-depth.

Find out more: what is a condition report?

How Much Does a Homebuyers Survey Cost?

A RICS homebuyers survey for the average UK home can cost around £500, though you may pay between £325 and £900 depending on the size of your home and your location. 

Homebuyers survey at a glance:

  • Suited for most modern property types.
  • Designed for properties that are in good condition.
  • Designed for properties that were made using common materials.
  • Not as in-depth as a building survey.
  • More comprehensive than the condition report.

You will need a homebuyer report if the house you’re going to buy is a new build or relatively modern, fairly conventional, and built with common materials. If your homebuyer report discovers any damage or problems with the house, you will have the chance to negotiate a lower price or you could walk away from the sale, avoiding any risks and expensive repair costs.

If your surveyor is also an RICS Registered Valuer, you can usually ask to have a valuation done alongside the survey report, but it's likely to cost you around £50 extra. If you require a valuation for your mortgage agreement, check with your lender beforehand to ensure they will accept this type of valuation.

Find out more: what is a homebuyers survey?

How Much Does a Building Survey Cost?

Building survey costs for an average priced UK property will be around £800, though can be as cheap as £630 and as expensive as £1,200. A building survey is the most comprehensive survey of all the survey types and provides an in-depth examination of the structure and condition of the home. 

Building survey at a glance:

  • Suited for older or listed buildings.
  • Designed for properties that have had, or plan to have, extension or renovation work carried out.
  • Suitable for properties in poor condition
  • Designed for properties built using unusual materials.
  • The most comprehensive survey, and usually the most expensive

Like all surveys, your house survey cost will come down to the price of the property, and the amount of time spent surveying the home and preparing the report. For that reason, many surveyors will be happy to charge an agreed rate per hour instead of a flat rate for the report.

You will need a building survey if the property you plan to buy is either an older building, one that was constructed with unusual materials, is in poor repair, or if it's a listed building. A building survey cost may seem expensive, but it will be able to highlight many hidden defects that could cost you thousands to repair after you’ve moved in.

Find out more: what is a building survey?

Are There Any Other Costs Involved?

In most cases, you should only have to pay for the survey itself, along with any necessary repair costs that have been highlighted, unless you agree for these to be attended to by the vendor as a condition of the sale.

If your survey reveals bad results, your surveyor may recommend that you get a further specialist survey - these surveys will be much more specific and only focus on the issue at hand. For example, for properties that have serious damp issues, a damp survey may be recommended to tackle the problem.   

It's important to remember that your property surveyor will usually not be a structural engineer, electrician or plumber, so they may recommend asking a specialist for alternative opinions and advice on certain problems. These will only be for specific issues and the option is entirely up to you. 

If you decide to take their advice and have a follow-up inspection, then you'll have to cover the added costs. Your surveyor should only recommend these if they believe a real risk might exist and the cost of the specialist inspection is justified.

Is it Worth Getting a Survey on a Property?

It is always worth getting a property survey done when you’re buying a house, not only to receive expert advice from a RICS regulated surveyor, but a property survey can also save you a lot of money in the long run. You can also use your property survey to negotiate on the house price if the report brings back negative results, or to pull out of the sale.

In a study conducted by Which? it was discovered that 26% of the 1,205 buyers surveyed compromised on the price after they received survey results. Many of these people regretted not compromising on certain issues with the seller to complete the transaction, such as the property’s structural condition.

Out of the 13% who overlooked the serious issues to continue with the purchase, 30% later regretted the decision. They realised that the condition of the property would eventually mean losing money in repair work and so they wished they had negotiated on the price to cover the costs.

Comparing Different Property Surveys

The type of property you’re going to be buying will affect what type of survey will best be suited to you. Here’s a comparison of each survey and the type of property it's best suited to. Find out more about which survey you need: what type of survey do I need?

Condition ReportHomebuyers SurveyBuilding Survey

What property type is it for?

New build properties or properties that are under 5 years old

Any type of property that isn't of high risk or over 50 years old

Properties over 50 years old or that are unusually constructed   

Completed by a qualified surveyor

Valuation included

×

×

Includes a clear traffic light rating

×

Looks at the condition of the property

Offers an in-depth look at the structure of a property××

Identifies potential problems 

Offers professional repair recommendations

×

Highlights defects and urgent issues

Helps buyers negotiate a better price 

Includes information for your conveyancer 

Why Do I Need a Property Survey?

When you get a property survey, your surveyor will highlight any major issues they have found, giving you the opportunity to completely pull out of the sale as your offer will be Sold Subject to Contract (STC). This ensures that you don’t regret the purchase or any of the compromises you’d have to make, like many of the respondents in the survey above. You could even renegotiate the offer you submitted to cover the costs of the repairs identified. 

In a previous study, RICS discovered that 4 in 5 homeowners bought a property without having a property survey first. These buyers then went on to spend on average £5,750 in unexpected repair work. You can easily avoid these surprise costs by hiring a verified surveyor to inspect your property. You can then determine if the property is worth the investment and the necessary repair costs identified. It gives you time to plan and budget for the work as well as provide evidence to negotiate on the price. 

Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, said, “Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people will ever make and yet many consumers are so blind to the facts. Serious faults are difficult to identify and costly to repair. By not being aware of them, consumers are risking a potential home buying time bomb." King continued by stating that "this can cause extreme stress and financial strain on homeowners who are often stuck with a property they no longer want but cannot sell.”

Learn More About Surveying

This is part of our guide to surveying. Next we take a look at questions you can ask your surveyor to ensure a smooth process. To learn more read what should I ask my property surveyor.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.

Mike Ashton

Reviewed by Mike Ashton

Director at Cambridge Building Surveyors , Cambridge Building Surveyors

With over 20 years of experience in the property surveying industry, Mike Ashton is now the director at Cambridge Building Surveyors.